THE GHILZAIS OF KANDAHAR 307 particularly turned towards the province of Kandahar. Humayun, by the aid of a Persian army, took Kandahar in A.H. 952 (1545), and in recognition of the services rendered to him by Tahmasp, ceded it to his benefactor, but subsequently took back the gift. Shortly afterwards the province was annexed by Abbas the Great, but upon his death it was seized by the Uzbegs through the defec- tion of its Persian governor, as mentioned in the previous chapter. The Uzbegs were driven out in A.H. 1021 (1634) by Shah Jahan, and in turn the province was recovered by Abbas II. in A.H, 1037 (1650). The Moghul emperors of India again and again besieged this veritable " bone of contention," Aurangzeb himself, on one occasion, taking the field in person. But the natural strength of the city defied all efforts, and conse- quently the province still formed part of the Persian empire in the time of Shah Husayn. The Ghilzais.—The Ghilzai tribe are a mixed race.1 To-day they number perhaps one hundred thousand families, and at the period under consideration were the most powerful tribe in the province of Kandahar, As the account given of the fortunes of the province proves, its overlords had been constantly changing, and the wild Ghilzais at this period were suspected, probably with good reason, of intriguing with the Court of Delhi. The Appointment of Gurgin Khan.—It was consequently decided to appoint George or Gurgin Khan, Prince of Georgia, to govern this turbulent province, and he marched into its capital with a powerful army composed of twenty thousand Persians and a Georgian contingent. No re- sistance to this overwhelming force was attempted, the disloyal chiefs were cowed, and the yoke of Persia was riveted on the province more securely than before. The inhabitants were treated as conquered rebels, and the oppression to which they were exposed, together with the intriguing nature of the chiefs, led to the despatch of secret missions to Isfahan with complaints against the harshness of the Governor. 1 The Ghilzais are generally believed to be identical with the Khalj mentioned bjr Idrisi, but Longworth Dames considers this very doubtful (vide his article " Ghalzai n in Part XX. of Encyclopaedia of Islam}.